Witnesses to the devastation wrought by Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel described the carnage as a “nightmare,” detailing horrific murder scenes and comparing Hamas’ tactics to those of ISIS.
More than 998 Israelis have died and an additional 3,400 were injured after Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel from Gaza and carried out a series of attacks on civilians and military installations, the Israeli embassy in the U.S. said Tuesday. The terrorists murdered hundreds of Israelis, conducting numerous rapes of women and kidnapping civilians to be held hostage in Gaza.
Tomer Peretz, who volunteered in southern Israel to recover the bodies with a group called Zaka, tried to recover hands, heads and arms of bodies maimed by Hamas terrorists.
“This is not something humans do,” Peretz told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Hamas stormed a music festival early Saturday morning in a surprise attack, killing roughly 260 people with an unknown number of people kidnapped and taken back to Gaza as hostages. Peretz described the gruesome aftermath as a “nightmare.”
“It’s not just a normal body, it’s like bodies cut in half, heads, hands, arms. It was insane … I can tell you that it was not just dead bodies that got shot. That was like beyond a nightmare,” Peretz said.
Peretz served in the Israeli military special forces before moving to Los Angeles. He was in Israel to attend a wedding when Hamas infiltrated the country’s border with Gaza to kill and kidnap Israeli citizens.
Despite his experience, Peretz told the DCNF that the recent violence is unlike anything he’s ever seen.
WATCH: Exclusive IDF footage from the scene of the massacre in southern Israel.
Hamas’ cruelty knows no bounds. pic.twitter.com/uPj2RSRihp
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 10, 2023
“I know the game, I’ve been around. I’ve seen some things around. Nothing like that. Nothing even close to it,” Peretz said.
Some Israelis were on the frontlines of the attacks, living in neighborhoods within reach of Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
Danielle Biton survived the attacks. She and her boyfriend awoke in the Karmiya kibbutz, situated four kilometers from Gaza, on Saturday morning to “a huge amount of missiles.”
The two are used to rocket fire from Gaza, but this time things felt different. That’s when Biton and her boyfriend got in their car and fled, grabbing family as well, but as they drove they realized the true extent of the massacre.
Since Saturday, Hamas has fired more than 4,500 rockets at Israel, according to the Israeli military, which responded by striking more than 1,300 targets.
“We can see the explosions, but then I heard the noise of an M16 automatically firing. And this noise wasn’t something that we’re used to. This was the first time that I spoke to my boyfriend and told him ‘Look, something is off,’” Biton told the DCNF.
“I saw a few vehicles of the terrorists holding RPGs … but we tried to avoid that and we just kept on driving,” Biton said.
Hours later, Biton and her boyfriend ended up returning to the area to rescue family.
“When we went back we saw a huge amount of dead bodies. Some of them were terrorists, some of them … were burned, some of them were decapitated. Hamas is just like ISIS,” Biton said.
The terrorists also kidnapped some of Biton’s friends and took them back to Gaza, she said.
“They’re in Gaza right now. I’m scared to think about what they’re going through. But I guess, you know, there are videos of them, they’re raping women,” Biton said.
The attacks have affected thousands of people who knew those killed or kidnapped by Hamas terrorists.
Three people Omer Lewinsohn knew from various stages of his life were killed at Saturday’s music festival.
Lewinsohn said he’s also been in touch with families who are still desperately searching for their loved ones that are believed to be among the kidnapped and in Gaza. In the end, he said, the goal is to recover them and restore safety.
“We don’t want revenge … We want to have a peaceful life. But we have to do whatever we have to do to make our life safe and to make the innocent Palestinians lives safe … We just want to kill Hamas,” Lewinsohn told the DCNF.
“I think the American press should show that Hamas is a terrorist organization, just like ISIS. just like al-Qaeda,” Biton said.
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